Shar­jah’s boom­ing tourism sec­tor

Tourism is the ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to­wards the econ­omy of Shar­jah. In 2017, ho­tel rev­enues and guest num­bers in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est an­nual re­port of the Shar­jah Com­merce and Tourism De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (SCTDA).

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With the ease of visa for Chi­nese and Rus­sian tourists an­nounced last year, there has been a con­tin­u­ous growth in both th­ese na­tion­al­i­ties to the emi­rate of Shar­jah. The 2021 vi­sion is based on pro­mot­ing the des­ti­na­tion as a fam­ily-ori­ented leisure spot with im­proved tourist ex­pe­ri­ence through in­no­va­tion, en­sur­ing that high qual­ity tourism fa­cil­i­ties are avail­able through part­ner­ships and col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­forts whilst im­prov­ing the des­ti­na­tion in cul­tural and her­itage tourism.

In­creas­ing trend in ho­tel oc­cu­pancy

SCTDA re­vealed that Shar­jah ho­tels recorded an oc­cu­pancy rate growth in 2017 amid the gov­ern­ment’s tourism cam­paigns and ini­tia­tives. The oc­cu­pancy rate reached 70 per cent last year, in­di­cat­ing an ex­po­nen­tially ris­ing num­ber of re­gional and global trav­ellers vis­it­ing the emi­rate.

H E Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chair­man, SCTDA said, “Last year’s pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ments were the re­sults of the ini­tia­tives to trans­form the emi­rate into one of the world’s lead­ing fam­ily des­ti­na­tions in line with the di­rec­tives of H H Sheikh Dr Sul­tan bin Mo­hammed Al Qasimi, Mem­ber of the UAE Supreme Coun­cil and Ruler of Shar­jah, and in sup­port of Shar­jah Tourism Vi­sion 2021 which seeks to at­tract over 10 mil­lion vis­i­tors to Shar­jah shores by 2021. Our strong per­for­mance last year helped cat­a­pult Shar­jah into the ranks of the most in­no­va­tive and com­pet­i­tive cities in the world. Our con­tin­u­ing achieve­ments and suc­cesses are proof of the emi­rate’s ca­pa­bil­ity to pro­vide an ex­cep­tional travel ex­pe­ri­ence as well as high po­ten­tial to at­tract tourists from around the world.”

Shurooq’s role

Shar­jah In­vest­ment and De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (Shurooq) con­tin­u­ously high­lights Shar­jah as one of the re­gion’s fastest-grow­ing and most at­trac­tive prospects to both tourists and in­vestors. Some of its key hos­pi­tal­ity and tourism projects in­clude the de­vel­op­ments, Al Ma­jaz Wa­ter­front, Al Mon­tazah, Al Qasba, Flag Is­land, Al Noor Is­land, Heart of Shar­jah, the Shar­jah Col­lec­tion and Mleiha Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal and Eco­tourism project. Th­ese rep­re­sent some of the most ex­cit­ing des­ti­na­tions and re­in­force the di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion of Shar­jah’s tourism and in­fra­struc­ture, and its sub­stan­tial con­tri­bu­tion to the lo­cal econ­omy and for­eign in­vest­ment. His Ex­cel­lency Mar­wan bin Jas­sim Al Serkal, Ex­ec­u­tive Chair­man, Shurooq stated, “We are fo­cus­ing on de­vel­op­ing in­vest­ments for Shar­jah, mak­ing it a hub for in­vestors to di­ver­sify the econ­omy of the emi­rate of Shar­jah. Dur­ing the past few months Shurooq signed a few MOUs for high end tourism de­vel­op­ment.”

H E Khalid Jasim Al Midfa Chair­man SCTDA

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